A Blues Beat Twofer From Down Under
This week our Australian Correspondent David O’ Sullivan shares a couple of recent shows with us.
Three visits in three years to ever-increasing numbers and bigger venues just goes to show that Joe Bonamassa is as popular in Australia as anywhere in the world. Touring this time to promote his latest album, Driving Towards The Daylight, the young man dubbed the “ blues rock titan” showed no signs of slowing down; indeed he seemed more energised than ever following on from this latest album’s return to a more blues-based theme.
Opening with a four-song acoustic set, accompanied by drummer Tal Bergman on congas, Bonamassa tipped his hat to his influences by performing the Bad Company classic “ Seagull,” as well as a couple of songs from the new album, before launching into the electric set with “ Slow train Coming”and moving through a set interspersed with songs from his whole catalog, including favourites “ Just Got Paid” and “ Mountain Time,” well supported by his great touring band who just keep getting better, particularly drummer Tal Bergman who was having a particularly good night.
At age 35 and with ten albums and four live DVDs to his name, Joe Bonamassa shows no signs of slowing down, his studio productivity that of an artist much older. One critic has said that “they call him the future of the blues , but they’re wrong – Joe Bonamassa is the present, so fresh and of his time that he almost defines it.” On this night in Sydney, that prediction came true.
Helicopters and Gasoline
Driving Towards Daylight
Woke Up Dreaming
Slow Train Coming
Who’s Been Talking
Look Over Yonder’s Wall
Young Man Blues
Just Got Paid
Joe Bonamassa – guitars, vocals
Tal Bergman – drums
Rick Melick – keyboards
Carmine Rojas – bass
Lil’ Band O’ Gold
The Factory Theatre
The advertising said “ dancing shoes are a prerequisite,” so on a very cold Saturday night we joined around 300 like-minded souls to catch Lil’ Band O’ Gold on their second Australian tour in the small but very intimate room at Sydney’s Factory Theatre complex.
Support act Pat Coppoci’s Two Timing Playboys provided a good opener and gave the crowd some western swing and rockabilly to set the mood for the main act.
A LBOG show is a rough and ready affair with no set list apparent and unfortunately a room plagued with sound problems (virtually no onstage monitors working properly), however this did not seem to throw the band at all, jet lagged as they were this just seemed to spur them on to better things as the night went on.
Their music is the complete musical tour de force of swamp pop, country, rockabilly, cajun, creole, blues, and straight-up rock ‘n’ roll delivered with a passion and sense of humour that belies the amazing array of talent on the stage, led by charismatic drummer 75-year-old Warren Storm, whose clear, sweet vocals shone through as did his seemingly effortless drumming. Guitarist and vocalist CC Adcock and accordion maestro Steve Riley also added to the mix, as did pianist Dave Egan, whose songwriting talents could have provided the entire set.
The whole band mingled with the crowd after the show signing CDs and chatting to new and old fans. Their new album, Lil’ Band O’ Gold Plays Fats, is a killer. (Note: This is an Australian/New Zealand release available as an import elsewhere. For those of us who were there on this very cold night, it was one to cherish for a long time to come.
Lil’ Band O’ Gold are:
Warren Storm – drums and vocals
CC Adcock – guitar and vocals
Steve Riley – accordion and vocals
David Egan – piano and vocals
Lucky Oceans – pedal steel
Dick Landry – sax
Pat Breaux – sax
Phillipe Billeaudeaux – bass
Based in Australia, David O’Sullivan is a contributing writer at BluesWax.
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